March school earns Ofsted praise

Gill Thomas Head Teacher at Westwood School with Year 6 pupils who are celebrating a good Ofsted. ANL-151201-124104009
Gill Thomas Head Teacher at Westwood School with Year 6 pupils who are celebrating a good Ofsted. ANL-151201-124104009
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Education inspectors have praised a March school for improvements it has made – saying previous weaknesses have been “tackled with vigour”.

Two years ago Ofsted told Westwood Junior School it required improvement, but following its latest inspection it has been judged as good.

In a report published last week, inspectors highlighted the school’s quality of teaching, the behaviour of pupils and the leadership of the headteacher and governing body.

Headteacher Gill Thomas said: “We are very pleased that the inspectors recognised how far the school has come.

“This is due to the hard work and commitment of all involved in the school – teachers, support staff, governors, parents and, of course, our children.” Ofsted inspected the school in Maple Grove during two days in December and were impressed with what they saw.

The report by lead inspector Peter Sudworth said the school was “well-led” by Mrs Thomas and development planning was thorough.

It said good teaching enables pupils to make good progress, and pointed out that pupils’ overall attainment at the end of Key Stage 2 had risen consistently since the last inspection.

Praising teaching, it said: “Work is well-matched to pupils’ abilities. Teachers constantly assess pupils’ understanding during lessons. Teachers’ questioning is generally perceptive and focussed. This keeps the pupils thinking, so does the teachers’ effective use of individual white boards.”

It added: “Teaching assistants are deployed well and give very good support to disadvantaged and disabled pupils, and those who have special educational needs. Teachers ensure that teaching assistants know their role in lessons. Their involvement with small groups is effective.”

Pupils in turn were praised for their good behaviour and attitudes to work.

“The behaviour of pupils is good. Pupils enjoy lessons and have a good attitude to their studies. They co-operate in class and are polite. Lessons are invariably conducted in a calm and purposeful atmosphere,” said the report.

“Pupils are well-behaved around school and have a good understanding of how to keep themselves safe.”

To improve further, the school has been encouraged to raise girls’ attainment in mathematics and continue to improve boys’ writing, both of which remain below average, and improve pupil achievement overall in foundation subjects.